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Clergy rejects appointment of 3 Sikh high priests
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 9
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Avatar Singh today suffered a big jolt when in an unprecedented “Gurmata” (resolution), the Sikh clergy rejected the appointment of three granthis for Golden Temple today.

The Sikh high priests have directed the committee to finalise the parameters as per Sikh traditions for making such appointments. The directions clear state that no such appointment can be made in violation of Sikh traditions.

With this, the Sikh high priests and the SGPC chief are on the collision course as all three persons were hand-picked by the latter.

Earlier, the SGPC had to postpone the installation ceremony of the granthis of Golden Temple in the wake of strong opposition from Sikh high priests and Sikh organisations.

Damdami Taksal chief Baba Harnam Singh Khalsa and chiefs of various Nihang organisations had threatened to stop any installation that was against Sikh traditions.

The three new Sikh high priests whose appointment has been rejected are: Giani Maan Singh, Head Granthi, Takht Damdama Sahib; Giani Jaspal Singh of Ludhiana; and Giani Gurbax Singh Gulshan of the UK.

The Damdami Taksal chief had alleged that except Giani Maan Singh, the other two priests had never served in any SGPC-run gurdwara.

He had also alleged that Giani Jaspal Singh was instrumental in the allowing baptised Sikh women to be part of “Panj Pyaras” (five beloved ones) who administered “Amrit” in “violation” of the established “maryada”.

The Sikh scholars had termed the appointments “undemocratic” and “violative” of Sikh traditions since Sikh bodies were not taken into confidence.

Sikh scholar G.S. Lamba, an advocate, had alleged that Giani Gulshan could not be installed since he had challenged the authenticity of “Rehras Sahib” in a book authored by him. The “Gurmata” reads that the appointment of the granthis had to be rejected on the basis of a number of petitions filed before the Akal Takht in India and abroad.

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